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Why be surprised that post-Christian Britain is rapidly turning into nowhere?


KONSTANTIN Kisin seems to think Western countries in an advanced state of decadence can recover without returning to their Christian foundations.

The Russian-born co-host of the highly successful YouTube show Triggernometry and author of the 2022 book, An Immigrant’s Love Letter to the West, was interviewed recently by the evangelical Christian writer and broadcaster, Glen Scrivener, on his Speak Life podcast

In the episode on June 2, ‘Can we have Western values without Christianity?’, Kisin, 40, said: ‘I’m interested in how we make society better now. I recognise that there are a lot of people of my generation in particular who are children of Hitchens [atheist journalist Christopher] and Dawkins [atheist biologist Richard]. You are going to struggle to get a lot of us and particularly younger people to go to church on a Sunday . . .

‘I am no opponent of Christianity or a critic or anything like that . . . I’m just thinking about the society we live in now in which people are not religious and increasingly so. How do we retain social cohesion and how do we challenge wokeness?’

It is unclear who Kisin meant by ‘we’. Was he talking about the anti-woke resistance movement in Britain or was his ‘we’ international? If the latter, anti-woke globalism is a concept conservatives who believe in the value of the nation state would probably not be comfortable with.

To focus on Britain, has he ever thought about the moral condition of the people living on this barbaric island before Christianity began to take root in the 7th century AD? They were living in disparate kingdoms often at war with one another. In the absence of co-ordinated defences, the island’s coasts were exposed to foreign invasion. The gods the pagan natives worshipped were very dark. Archaeological evidence points to the likelihood that the Anglo-Saxons believed their gods needed to be appeased with human sacrifice. 

In his Ecclesiastical History of the English People, written in the 8th century, the Venerable Bede described the lifestyle of the Catholic missionaries led by Augustine, the Benedictine monk sent from Rome by Pope Gregory to evangelise the Anglo-Saxons in the late 6th century.

Allowed by the King of Kent, Ethelbert, to take up residence in Canterbury, they ‘were constantly at prayer; they fasted and kept vigils; they preached the word of life to whomsoever they could. They regarded worldly things as of little importance, and accepted only the necessities of life from those they taught. They practised what they preached and were willing to endure any hardship, and even to die, for the truth which they proclaimed. Before long, a number of heathen, admiring the simplicity of their holy lives and the comfort of the heavenly message, believed and were baptised’ (Bede, translated by Leo Shirley-Price, Penguin, revised 1990).

In contrast to the secular message of equality, inclusion and diversity sounding out from Canterbury Cathedral today, the Augustinian missionaries proclaimed orthodox Christianity in all its counter-cultural glory. Bede wrote: ‘Tradition says that as they approached the city, bearing the holy cross and the likeness of our great King and Lord Jesus Christ as was their custom, they sang in unison this litany: “We pray Thee, O Lord, in all Thy mercy, that Thy wrath and anger may be turned away from this city and from Thy holy house, for we are all sinners. Alleluia”.’ 

Given the central role Christianity has played in shaping this nation’s identity and character, why is it any surprise that post-Christian Britain is rapidly turning into a nothing and a nowhere? Why is it any surprise that the people living on these islands are now returning to pre-Christian conditions? It was the parents, grandparents and great-grandparents of the present generation of indigenous Millennials who forsook Christianity during the 20th century with church decline accelerating rapidly after World War II. In 1900 around 25 per cent of the UK population regularly attended Christian churches, with the rest broadly identifying as Christian. Now fewer than 5 per cent of the population attend church regularly and fewer than 50 per cent identify as Christian. 

At the end of the interview, Scrivener asked Kisin whether he had read the ‘Jesus story’ in the New Testament Gospels. He replied: ‘Not since I was very young.’

Kisin says he is concerned with practicality. The practical question is surely this: how can neo-Marxist wokery fail to win unless a lot more British people become convinced of the truth of the crucified and risen Jesus Christ, accept his gift of the forgiveness of sins, and start going to church? 

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Julian Mann
Julian Mann
Julian Mann is a former Church of England vicar, now an evangelical journalist based in Heysham, Lancashire.

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